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GLOSSARY: Sats and dish sizes (uk)


Regular Member
My Location
@Rolfw, another one that may come in handy, it may give members a rough idea of dish size.

Below is a list of satellites from east to west, also the minimum dish size for (s) south or (n) north that you require to pick some up, it also depends on your view of the sats; ie, trees or other buildings can restrict picture quality.
Not all these satellites are receivable in the UK, you would need a dish the size of Jodral Bank to pick some up, I have also left some of the ones out that are near impossible to get, and also some are viewable at different times of the day, some also have an inclined orbit, which means that they are not on the Clark belt, slightly off set. You get the general picture (or not). I have listed the dish size on Viewable sats only. Starting East and working West

Intelsat 804 64 E
Intelsat 902 62 E
Intelsat 604 60 E
Gorizont 32 53 E
Anatolia 1 50 E
Eutelsat II F1 48 E Nth and Sth 150cm
Europe Star 1 45 E
Turksat 1C 42 E Nth 120cm, Sth 80cm
Gorizont 31 40 E
Seasat/Eutelsat W4 36 E Nth 90cm, Sth 70cm
Turksat 1B 31 E
Arabsat 2B 30.5 E
Eurobird 28.5 E Nth 60cm, Sth 45cm
Astra 28.2 E Nth 60cm, Sth 45cm
Arabsat 2A/3A 26 E Nth 120cm, Sth 100cm
Astra 1D 24.2 E
Kopemikus F3 23.5 E Nth 150cm, Sth 120cm
Eutelsat II F3 21.5 E
Astra 19.2 E Nth 80cm, Sth 60cm
Eutelsat W2 16 E Nth and Sth 70cm
Hot Bird 1-5 13 E Nth and Sth 70cm
Eutelsat W1 10 E Nth and Sth 70cm
Eutelsat W3 7 E Nth and Sth 70cm
Sirius 2/3 5.2 E Nth and Sth 70cm (on some channels) others 150cm
Thor 1-3/ Intelsat 707 1 W Nth and Sth 90cm (poss smaller Sth)
Telecom 2C 5 W Nth and Sth 90cm
Nilesat 101/102 7 W Nth 150cm, Sth 120cm
Telecom 2D/Atlantic 8W Nth 80cm, Sth 60cm
Express 3A 11 W
Eutelsat II F2 12.5 W Nth and Sth (most) 90cm
Telstar 12 15 W Nth and Sth 90cm
Intelsat 901 18 W Nth and Sth 150cm
Intelsat 603 24.5 W
Intelsat 605 27.5 W Nth and Sth 150cm
Hispasat 1A-1C 30 W Nth and Sth 100cm (poss as small as 60cm Sth)
Telstar 11 37.5 W Nth 90cm Sth 80cm
Pas 3R 43 W Nth 100cm Sth 90cm
Pas 1R 45 W Nth 150cm Sth 120cm
Intelsat 709 50 W


Honorary Admin
My Location
Cloud Cuckoo Land
Thanks Haga.

It should also be noted that many satellites transmit on several beams, each of which may be aimed at a different location, and each of which may be of different strength. The different beams carry different channels.

In general, it is only possible to say that your dish needs to be a particular size to receive a particular beam, rather than a particular satellite (if indeed it can be received at all from your location).

So here are the steps you need to go through:

- decide which channels you want to receive

- find out on which satellite(s) they are carried

- determine on which beam(s) on the respective satellite(s)

- check the footprint of the beam(s) (i.e. the area of the Earth's surface covered)

- if the footprint does not cover your location, you will not be able to receive the channel(s) at all. However: the published footprint info is not always accurate, and does not account for signal bleed. So if you are not too far outside the footprint, you may still be lucky (especially if you have a large dish).

- if the footprint covers your location, you need to use the footprint map to find out the actual predicted signal strength at your actual location. The closer you are to the centre of the beam, the stronger the signal. Most footprint maps show contour lines of variying signal strength (or EIRP), expressed in "dbW" units.

- use a conversion table/chart to determine how big a typical dish needs to be to receive a reliable signal for a given signal strength. IE a dbW to cm(diameter) conversion. Some footprint maps label their contours directly with the required dish size, so this conversion would not be necessary.

Here are some useful links to help achieve the above:

Of course, having determined whether or not you can receive the channel's signal is just the first step. Next you need to determine whether you can decode it. That means finding out whether it's analogue or digital, whether it's PAL, SECAM, or NTSC; whether its compressed using MPEG, ADR, PowerVu; whether it's encrypted or FTA; if encrypted, under which system (D2MAC, Syster, Nagravision, Mediaguard, Irdeto, Betacrypt, Cryptoworks, Videoguard, Conax, etc.); and whether you have a means of decrypting it (can you get an official subscription at your location? Is there a pirate-card solution? Which cards, CAMs, receivers, patches, etc might you need to achieve decryption....).